How you can dress to look taller even when you're only five foot three

Petite girls, listen up. Whether you’re slender or full-bodied, we show you some style tips on how you can feel more confident

It’s not exactly a walk in the park to shop for clothes that flatter your body proportions. And it’s even tougher when you’re petite, since it feels as though brands are indirectly “forcing” you to drown in their garbs.

Fret not, we’re here to help. We show you some style hacks that you can utilise to make you feel more confident about yourself. Of course, we’re being inclusive by serving you tips that benefits both slim and plus-size girls, simply because we’re all for embracing whatever shape or size you’re in. #Nodiscrimination.


1. Opt for cropped silhouettes

Cropped blouses and cropped slim-cut trousers are great for creating the illusion of an elongated frame. Steer clear of long-line tunics and shirts that fall below the waistline.

There’s also the quintessential two-third/one-third rule that all petite ladies should know by heart. Let us break it down for you… By no means should you split your body into two equal halves when it comes to pairing tops and bottoms.

Instead, your bottoms should take up two-thirds of your body (high-waisted trousers are a great go-to for this) while your top takes up one-third proportion. Keep this in mind and you’ve got a fail-safe formula for figure-flattering styling.


2. Layering is great, but keep everything tailored

Despite the common misconception that layering is a petite woman’s worst nightmare, we’re actually huge advocates for it. It’s a great way to add dimension and spruce up any look.

Layering with baggy or oversized cuts will indubitably wind up overwhelming your smaller figure, but the trick is to opt for tailored, streamlined cuts such as a sleek pantsuit.

Avoid layering with relaxed fits, oversized shirts and longline duster coats. Keep the inner layers polished and well-fitted, and throw on cropped blazer jackets. Bonus tip: Peplum blazers that nip before flaring at your hips are extra flattering for your proportions, adding dimension and elongating the torso.


3. Avoid boxy or square-shaped silhouettes

Square-shaped silhouettes such as shift dresses, straight-cut blouses with stiff boxy sleeves and blazers with structured shoulders should be avoided as much as possible. We repeat: These shapes will not do anything for your petite frame.

Boxy silhouettes tend to conceal your figure and you might end up looking smaller and swallowed up underneath them. Go for structured shaping and pieces that show off your figure to a fuller effect. For example, opt for wrap dresses or belted dresses that are cinched at the waist instead of shirt dresses.


4.  Try wearing more vertical stripes

If you’re showing your stripes, and we mean this literally, be sure to go for stripes that run vertically as opposed to horizontally.

Horizontal stripes usually give off a widening illusion, while vertical stripes are elongating.

This rule doesn’t have to be applied as strictly when it comes to tops, since it covers a smaller proportion of the body; but be extra cautious when you’re dealing with dresses, one-piece items like jumpsuits, and trousers as well.


5. Monochromatic is the way to go when it comes to wearing a one-piece

For jumpsuits and co-ords, solid colours give a uniformed look as compared to bolder, distracting prints that will, in turn, overwhelm a petite frame.

An overload of prints and patterns can easily look messy when you’re not super tall, so it’s better to opt for a monochromatic colour scheme if you’re talking about one-piece outfits.